Wednesday, November 03, 2010

All Souls

Here are two sermons. The first, preached on Tuesday morning, is a simple word of comfort concerning loved ones who have departed in the Lord. In the second, preached tonight (as most people are unable to attend on Tuesday mornings), I chose for some reason to launch into a diatribe against purgatory. Aware that none of the hearers believe in it, I nevertheless found in this another way to talk about merit: the merit of Christ, received by faith.

It turns out that for Rome, the distinction between All Saints (Nov. 1) and All Souls (Nov. 2) is primarily that the former are in heaven, but the latter, still in purgatory. Thus it is fitting for us, contrary to this falsehood, to revert to the prior distinction between All Saints--recognition of all martyrs--and All Souls--recognition of all the faithful departed--who, according to the collect, abide "in joy and felicity" and not in purgatory.

For how could God refuse to welcome us--and our departed loved ones--at once into Paradise (as He did the thief on the cross), when we have received Christ's body and blood at the altar, and with that, His eternal merit as well?

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